Suspect nabbed in Mannar statues vandalism 

4 Catholic statues reportedly damaged by mentally ill patient 

BY Pamodi Waravita

Investigations into the damaging of four Catholic statues in the Mannar area have led to the arrest of one individual, who is suspected to be a mentally ill patient. 

On the nights of 13 and 14 July, four statues belonging to the Catholic faith were damaged by unknown individuals. The Police are conducting further investigations into the matter. 

It is learnt that law enforcement authorities suspect an attempt to create tensions in the area. 

Speaking to The Morning, the Mannar Bishop Fidelis Lionel Emmanuel Fernando said that the Police had assured the Church that a thorough investigation into the matter is being conducted. He added however that they are not worried about this being an incident related to language or religious violence. 

A similar incident occurred on 28 December 2020, when a Buddha statue was vandalised in Mawanella, although the Police later said that the attacker was motivated to steal the money which was offered to the statue. This incident however renewed fears of ethnic tensions similar to that in 2018 which were sparked as a result of the vandalism of several Buddha statues in the same area.